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Sunday, March 18, 2018

“Run or die” considered psychological terrorism

“Drivers need to be extremely careful when they see children near the road, and given the fact that they may rush to run right under the wheels” – such SMS-mailing EN masse comes to the phones of Russian citizens. The text is alerted to the existence of some teenage game of “Run or die”. However, experts are inclined to consider the situation a deliberate provocation intended to sow panic among the population.

The information that the Commissioner of the President of Russia for children’s rights Anna Kuznetsova appealed to the leadership of the traffic police, in particular to the head of the Main Department on security of traffic of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia Victor nilavu, in “connection with the spread of social networking game of “Run or die!”, appeared on Tuesday.

“Those TEXTS not intended for children and adults, with children, seeing them can just laugh, but adults will get nervous”

“I consider it necessary to conduct an analysis of existing cases of road accidents involving juvenile pedestrians, indicating the possible involvement of the child in this game, and strengthen measures aimed at the prevention of safe behavior on the road among minors,” – said in the appeal Kuznetsova, the text of which was published on the website of the Commissioner.

The newspaper VIEW the press service of the interior Ministry explained that information on children’s accidents are still required to perform. However, based on statistics Department, from January to November 2016 was observed an insignificant decrease in the number of cases of assaults on minors compared to the year 2015: accidents involving child pedestrians decreased by 2.7%, and related deaths – 8.4% of cases, leading to injuries by 3.2%.

Monitoring of social networks to identify groups of “Run or die” also has not led to serious results. In particular, popular youth social network “Vkontakte” is really a group with the appropriate name, but a number of them contain philosophical statements “every day”, one created by fans of computer shooters. There is also one closed with 110 participants, more than half of them adults, 20-30 years-old people.

One of the readers of the newspaper OPINION sent to the editor of the text of the SMS-mailing that comes to many residents of Russia:

“Sent from the Department of education. Attention parents and drivers! Now among the children is very newfangled has become a game of “Run or die!” – said in the message. The essence of this game is to cross the road as close as possible before moving vehicles. This game is popular all over Russia. Therefore, drivers need to be extremely careful when they see children near the road, and given the fact that they may rush to run right under the wheels. REPOST so that more drivers were aware, so we not only save children’s lives, but also our entire family to secure… talk to your children. DEAR PARENTS! NOTE: HELP SPREAD the word, SEND it to your FRIENDS who have teenage kids”.

Tellingly, in the regions spreading over this country information was perceived ambiguously. For example, at the Ryazan TV channel “City” was a plot by one of the characters which – enthusiast – said that he managed to brake in time before running in front of her two students (the other three, she said, were watching and laughing), the other that she had taken part in such amusements, however, 10 years ago.

On the other hand, the plot of Krasnoyarsk TV “prima”, on the contrary, showed that SMS-information about the game, “Run or die!” is nothing more than a fake, the purpose of which is to sow panic among parents of minors.

“Understand that cheating is possible on the whole set of signs, the authors of the report. All messages are built on the same scheme – specifies the supposedly reliable source, the Department of education. More text with care about us, but like your worst nightmare – suicide attempt in the 38th school (apparently, in one embodiment, the distribution mentioned such school – approx. OPINION). In Krasnoyarsk there is no education Department, only the Ministry and management. As no map of the city and the 38th school. But even if we assume that the mailing came from another city, the text still is not a single indication of the source of information that can be cross-checked. In the regional traffic police a single fact these games are not fixed”.

Journalists concluded that “the purpose of this psychological terrorism panic, which are not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of people across the country.”

Tellingly, the press service of the Commissioner under President of Russia on the rights of the child, the VZGLYAD newspaper also reported that the request of Anna Kuznetsova was made on the basis of reports of parents, receiving SMS with the same content.

“I’m a parent myself and received similar messages, – said the press officer. – The same kind of signals come to us and to corporate email. If there are signals, we have to respond, because the request was made. If the fact is confirmed, the next step is to appeal to Roskomnadzor with the requirement to stop the activities of such groups. Will respond on the basis of whether such a threat or not.”

It is symptomatic that in the evening of Tuesday the request information to the traffic police disappeared from the news feed of the website of the Russian Ombudsman. Perhaps, in the apparatus of Anna Kuznetsova decided to wait for the data traffic.

“We, of course, how the legislature will respond to such cases, – commented the newspaper VIEW Chairman of the Duma Committee on family, women and children, Tamara Pletneva. – Recently made a request to the interior Ministry about “groups of death”, you want to ensure that their creators were punished more severely. The problem with this “game”, if the fact is confirmed, also, do not leave without attention”.

In turn, public figure, member of the Committee for security and combating corruption of state Duma of the sixth convocation Ilya Kostunov told the newspaper VIEW that he first heard about the game “Run or die!” from the media.

“Of course, first and foremost parents and teachers need to be interested in what the children are doing – says social activist. – To monitor the virtual and the real threat, connecting law enforcement officers. I think it is useful to start with the children in explanatory conversations on this topic, it doesn’t matter whether information about this game is true or is calculated to create panic in society surge”.

Agree with this approach and child and adolescent psychologist Anfisa Kalistratova, but in conversation with the newspaper VIEW she expressed the belief that the entire history of SMS sending is more reminiscent of a planned provocation:

“Of course, something to say for sure, I don’t have enough information. But it should be clear that these TEXTS are not designed for children and adults. With children, seeing them can just laugh, but adults will seriously nervous. What do you want, if modern humans can scare even the storm warning? I think you should start with in order to trace the source from which sent such SMS-mailing”.


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